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Joss Whedon - "Speed" Movie - Beth Grant tells a little story

Thursday 14 January 2010, by Webmaster

Speed (1994)—“Helen”

Beth Grant : Joss Whedon did the rewrite for Speed—the movie, not the drug. Sometimes I’ll say, “When Sandy [Bullock] and I were doing Speed—the movie, not the drug.” Just in case someone’s listening. Joss actually called me in for a part once—not on Angel, but on something else—and I jokingly said, “You know, your rewrite of Speed, you completely destroyed my character.” Originally I was one of Sandy’s friends, because we rode the bus together every day. I think she was a stand-up comedian, and I had been to the club to see her routine. I had just gotten engaged. I had a dog on the bus. There was just more backstory for all of us. It was kind of like The Poseidon Adventure, and very wisely, in this case, the studio said, “No, let’s just get on the bus and go.” Joss had done that rewrite, so I teased him about it. In the first script, the bus driver has a heart attack and I give him CPR. I was a hero! Then I volunteer to be the first one off the bus and get blown up—again, as a hero! So then I get Joss’ script. First of all, there’s hardly anything in there, and what is there is this whining coward who tries to leap off the bus to save her ass! [Laughs.] He said, “Oh yeah, sorry about that.” And I said, “No, thank God, because that’s why it was a hit.”